Location: Corporate House
Andrew straight went to her cubicle with Flora following him.
“Can you tell me where the HR bay is?” Andrew inquired
She was dressed in an elegant olive green sleeveless salwar suit with a pink dupatta over her neck falling parallel to both her hands. She looked so pure and natural with her face consuming minimal cosmetics; most certainly had a beautiful body to match her incredible eyes. Her right wrist had steel bangle (kara) which constantly came down from her forearm as every time she tried moving it up in state of oblivion. Her left wrist had a black rectangular wristwatch with a leather strap which was perfectly complementing the kara.
“Gorgeous”, Andy heard himself saying in almost a muted voice.
She talked, Andy pretended to listen. Her voice had warmth of milk and honey. But he couldn’t listen, not really because he didn’t want to but because of severe hearing loss due to mind explosion.
He just stood watching her like a piece of furniture, as useful, as impersonal and as silent. His head wouldn’t turn; eyes almost locked. She exuded great confidence and Andy was submitted to her confidence. It was a strange feeling of senselessness to watch the mechanical process of her mouth motor pumping out 10 words per second.
“If I were W.B Yeats, I would have written an ode to her”, Andy’s dexterous mind chirped in articulate sound of silence.
The metallic light from the ceiling danced crisply on her face producing a twinkling effect in the Iris of her eyes as if stars had themselves transcended. Threads of her hair were slanted in flat curve across her white forehead and fall in straight line to her left shoulder which had a visible burnt mark. He wished he could float his fingers through her hair, slowly tracing the curves of the threads in the outline of her ears.
She told the direction of the maze, the HR bay, as precisely as any betel shop guy would tell. She stopped; Andy looked like as if he just came out from a good dream. He didn’t know what to speak, what she just spake? The words had vaporized from his tongue. He was unsure, nervous, excited and scared, all at the same time. All his sponge soaked nature’s intelligence came to his toes. He surely had common sense until he sacrificed that virtue at the altar of her beauty.
Her glare made his throat dry. He cleared it. In his stupor, Andy almost choked and said
“Right?” lifting his right hand to point the right side. Flora busted with laughter. Smile played on Veronika’s pencil thin splendid lips. Few people sitting at the back of the cubicle also smiled more because of Andy’s state of embarrassment.
She rolled her eyes, “Yeah Lovely!!” Andy’s heart confided to his mind.
Seeing her willingness to help others made Andy’s respect for her to touch the rooftop. She smiled again and began reiterating the direction of the maze. That was the cutest smile Andy had ever seen. The next time he saw her smile unabashedly like that was on social networking site saluting in parallel with the gatekeeper of a restaurant infront of the cameraman.
If Andy’s eyes were Journal book then his heart was a Ledger book. She made an “entry” to his heart via the eyes. Andrew preoccupied himself with gravity, he was falling …falling in love.
Location: A Street
On a frigid overcast morning the wind blew, soft and cool, piercing through tree branches stirring the bushes that sprinkled on the two sides of the street. In Andy’s adrenaline fuelled high speed world, the digital meter clocked 93km/hr, while Andy gaily chanting the song
“Deewana, dil dewwana
Kabse kare hai tera intezar, kab aayegi meri jane bahar
Ke jitna hi behlau, yeh utna hi maachalta hai dil
Aa bhi jaa ab jane jaa, dewaana dil deewana “
on his pulsating Red Pulsar which was the medium of transport of his livelihood. Sometimes making his bike dance like snake, doing stunts which only Rajni could be proud of or standing half erect on the bike… punching the air with joy for no reason. He was happy, that was the sole reason. SRK landed on a platform after the song while Andy found himself in the office.
Veronika became the noun which verbs his world nowadays.
Location: Juice Counter in the Food Court of Corporate House
He walked straight and proud with Flora and Fauna following him in the lunch hours. He parsed through the crowd in exigency, filtering everyone from his eyes to catch her glimpse. There was an automated batch process running every nanosecond in his eyes to spot her. She watched him approaching, looking up at her. She didn’t held that pose long enough to let him suspect that it was a deliberate pose. As he came near, the oxygen seeped out of his lungs, his chest tightened and couldn’t draw enough air. She was looking like a quintessential icon of various FMCG beauty products. She again looked up and both broke platitudes of hi and hellos. His voice was a nervous one but didn’t appear to be when it sounded. He hurriedly asked the most diplomatic question about her work; she retorted diplomatically in more swift and relaxed way, took her juice, walked away in most diplomatic way.
It was pretty unusual for Andy to talk in that manner as he was a self proclaimed clown who could bring smile on a dead man’s face with his sense of humor and orgasmic sarcasm. Fauna would sometimes have tears pooling in her eye due to his PJ’s. Certainly he was a clown. A clown is not a fool. It is far more difficult to make people laugh then to annoy them. A good clown silences his ego and reduces himself to an abyss to maximize the laughter. He always created innovative neural path of jokes in his brain as if it were a ritual to him.
Location: Waiting for elevator in the Corporate House
Flora and Fauna, Andy’s colleagues giggling among each other while they heard this jingle constantly dancing on his lips
“Teri ek jhalak mil jaye toh din ban jaye”
No he didn’t want to buy the soap; he just wanted to see her peary smile
He looked at her in the elevator, on their way down. He saw her hand: fingers of both hand stuck together as two mismatched puzzle. She was wearing pink. She chirped to one of her colleagues that she is having cold and almost gave a fake cough as a prescription of proof. Andy so wanted to suggest her remedy of some herbal juices which he had often seen his grandmother having in cough and cold but couldn’t muster the courage infront of the desert of people in the elevator.
Location: Food court in the Corporate House
There she was, dressed up in an emerald green top and black brown jeans on a Friday afternoon, hair open almost balancing on two sides of her face, sitting cross-legged in a blue plastic chair. She was the cynosure of all eyes. She leaned back, her shoulders straight, her beautiful palm closed about the stem of the watermelon juice glass, every time poking the straw in the juice with the left hand while chirping with her girl friends. Andy drumming the table with his fingers watched from five rows behind. Her garrulity suffused a rosy glow on her face as if shadow of watermelon dancing on her face. Then she smiled, trademark Veronika smile and with a smooth glide of a cat walked towards the entrance while dropping the juice glass into the dustbin. Andy’s eyes were fixed till he saw her silhouette disappeared in the soothing noise of the food court.
Location: Juice Counter in the Food court of the Corporate House
Veronika was standing at her favorite juice counter having her ‘usual’ juice. It was her last day in that corporate house. She was wearing a brown salwar with white dupatta wrapped over her neck. Her black curl glistened against her while forehead. Her kara made a grating sound when she leaned and kept her elbow on the marble counter of the juice shop.
Andy and Fauna talked with her for fifteen minutes. A usual tête-à-tête about the formalities, flights, places and weathers. Veronika and Andy immersed themselves in a sweet illusion, talked to each other in a way they never had before. Andy kept playing with his ID card dangling on his chest as vivid sign of sadness that was about to come. She saw it. He wanted to employ some PJ’s for the last time…just for the last time to see her smile but couldn’t .The ice was too big to be broken. After few minutes of silence, both walked passed opposite each other without any greetings. Andy came up to his desk and kept seeing the word ”VERONIKA” scribed on his white board.